Should I stay or should I go now?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by podiumboy, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Have recently gotten back together with my old band after 4 years, yada yada yada. Things aren't really taking off the way I'd like, old habits are resurfacing, etc. I'm not sure I'm ready to throw in the towel or anything. I am the band leader of this project, kind of by default. Our old singer was the BL but he's not around anymore. We're trying to make this band a democracy, everybody gets a say. But a couple band members don't realize that we're actually trying to work up a setlist that can please a crowd, and suggest we play songs that are either slow/uninteresting, or too obscure for the general public (Beatles deep cuts, for example). I'm really trying to make it fun and democratic for everyone, but it's kind of a disaster.

    THE POINT of this thread is that I actually got an audition for another band. I haven't responded to say I'm for sure interested. I've pretty much never played with any other band in my life. But this is an already established band, and they sent me their song list, and it's pretty much right up my alley. I would basically be "the new guy", and not the BL, which is fine, but would be a huge adjustment. Also I'm 31 and the guys in this other band are 45-51. That doesn't really bother me, I could probably learn a lot from those seasoned veterans. But it's scary to think about being the young guy, the new guy, the amateur, etc. Don't get me wrong, I think my musical abilities are up to the task (a large number of their songs were in our list anyway).

    So basically, walk away from what's safe and familiar, but could possibly never get off the ground... or take a risk and play with a bunch of strangers who are already an established band and be thrown completely out of my comfort zone. Any ideas?
  2. Yes. Get out of your "comfort zone". It's likely your opportunity to get to the next level quicker.
  3. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Sounds to me like you already know what you want to do.
    Don't worry, from what you describe, the new band won't be as huge an adjustment as you think it will be.

    Good luck.
  4. It's just an audition. If they hire you, well, that's good for you and not good for the band that can't get its proverbial together.
  5. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Go for it. You can always go back and beat the dead horse later.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    You don't have to decide until after the audition, right? It will probably be much clearer what do do then.

    Personally I would have loved to get to play with older and more experienced musicians.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    First off, a democracy in a band situation is only as good as the motivation level of the least interested member, and if there are multiple goals rather than a goal, well; I think you are currently living the idea.

    OTOH, you have an opportunity to considerably lighten your musical load by becoming a cog in the wheel where your obligation is confined to showing up on time and doing an acceptable job on bass. Outside of that and a little help with schlepping gear, you can enjoy life rather than worry about a band member's poor taste in music as it applies to the common goal of the band, dealing with apathetic players, booking, and all the other tasks required of a good BL.

    In addition to the obvious advantages of being just the bass guy in an already established group, you also have a chance to learn from people who've BTDT so if somewhere down the line you decide your vision can no longer wait you will have more practical experience to draw on in your role as BL while you shepherd your dream to fruition.

    Keep in mind being just the bass guy requires a malleable ego. If you cannot be satisfied anywhere but in the drivers seat, then stick with your original project and dump the idea of a democratic band and get on with the business of herding cats.
  8. Sounds like a bad relationship.....just go play music and have fun.
  9. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I think that this is very good advice. It is what I would do.
    I always ask myself the question, "Will this move me forward toward my goal?" If the answer is yes, it's time to go.

    Also, as others have stated, you are only at the audition stage. They might not even make you an offer.
  10. Play with both and decide late after you know what's best for you.
  11. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Go for the audition. See if you like playing with the new band. Then if the new band works out, see if the members of the old band step up. They might just want to get together and play tunes and never get out of the garage. They might never notice that you have another band.
  12. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    Do the audition then see what happens. If nothing else it gives you the experience. Plus if the old band works out then great if not then you tried and move on.
    Also another thought is seeing you have a new singer (?), you may find that a couple of your old bandmates might want to start something new and more serious with you. Just other options to think of.
  13. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Its always good to play with better musicians than yourself.
  14. If you go there will be trouble, and if you stay it will be double!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.:D
  15. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    I've heard it somewhere that 3 things make for a good band situation. 1) Money, 2) Material, and 3) hang (how well band members get along). If you get 2 out of 3 then that's good, you put up with the 3rd. It's rare to get 3 out of 3 but it happens. So decide which 2 are most important and make your decisions from there. Good luck.
  16. Not too difficult a decision to make: 1. If you are a full-time musician, go where the money is but keep both options open. 2. If you are part-time with a good day job, it is less crucial but sensing any acrimony in Band 1, then do the audition for Band 2. If that goes well, stick with them.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Comfort zones are for sissys, do it. I personally prefer to be the worst player in my band, that means I have the most to gain.
  18. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    I haven't read all the replies, but in my mind, you have to try it!
  19. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Move ahead, go forward, and whip it.